Monday, April 28, 2014

Used Car Review - Suzuki APV (2005-Current)

Need something practical for less cash? Myk Belmonte gives you a suggestion.

2005-Current Suzuki APV

Indonesians love multi-purpose vehicles since the birth of the Toyota Kijang in that place. In fact the Toyota Avanza (and its Daihatsu Xenia twin) are the common vehicles roaming the streets of the island nation. Talk about small size and little maintenance costs, it inspired competitors to develop this type of vehicle for the market.

Designed in Japan and produced by Suzuki's Indonesian subsidiary, the APV was first launched in 2004 together with the Mitsubishi Maven (basically the same model with a different design and Mitsubishi's 4G15 engine but discontinued after 2009). It was made available first in a MPV body with pick-up versions followed suit.

After fielding Carry in the passenger van market back then, the APV was made available to the Philippine consumer back in 2005 with ads that feature Doraemon. This vehicle provided an alternative to the common Adventure and Crosswind duo and the new kid on the block Innova until the Avanza came along a year later. Updates were done in May 2008 and November 2011 which included some revisions in the trim line. Variants include the base GA (added in 2006), GL, GLX, and SGX (made available in the 2008 revision).

Value and Costs
Do not worry if you have limited funds to purchase a brand new unit, especially a second hand APV costs between P200,000 for older models to P500,000 for later ones. Go with a July 2011 and later model to take advantage of the warranty.

Engine components are shared with the Vitara, which means maintenance costs are on the low side. Do take note that the engine is situated under the front passenger seats which makes access a little bit difficult.

Exterior and Interior
Unlike other contemporaries, the APV possesses a tall height which translates to a good headroom inside while retaining its compact size. It has some resemblance to a loaf of bread due to its lines and size. Let us not deal with this aspect too much.

Jumping to the driver's seat requires you some adjustments if you had graduated from a sedan, since the steering wheel is positioned akin to a bus, a high seating position, and oddly placed pedals. Good thing the second and third row benches are equally placed which can give you capacity for six people at the back. SGX models gain a second row captain's chair which can be adjusted forward and reclined if desired. Thank goodness that the radio and air-con controls are within the driver's reach. Before anything else, the GA does not have any power amenities except steering.

No diesel engine under the hood, but instead we find a G16A 1,590cc gasoline having 91hp at 5,750rpm and 127Nm at 4,500rpm. Having a weight worth 1,300kg, the 1.6 engine might have trouble in motivating the APV no thanks to a double digit horsepower rating. If its full, you have to mash every revs to extract power that is available.

Driving Impressions
For those who want something that will inspire their driving, go elsewhere. Handling isn't exciting and steering feedback is on the bad side, no thanks to a steering wheel that is small. But then, you'll be treated to an expanse outside visibility which is a good thing.

If you want something cheap to purchase that can carry seven to eight people in a pinch, the APV is the answer. However, in the price range, we would be picking something that is more superior in every aspect especially that the devil of depreciation hit them.

The Good:
  • Headroom
  • Small size means easy city driving
  • High height
The Bad:
  • Crude suspension layout
  • Engine is overtaxed
  • Somewhat limited space
The Pick: 1.6 GLX

Engine: 1,590cc G16A I4 gasoline
Power: 91hp @ 5,750rpm
Torque: 127Nm @ 4,500rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear rigid axle semi-elliptic leaf spring

Price (New): P560,000-P950,000
Price (Now): P200,000-P500,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Spin, Nissan Grand Livina, Toyota Avanza (direct); Chevrolet Orlando, Isuzu Crosswind, Kia Carens, Mitsubishi Adventure, Toyota Innova (indirect)
On Sale: 2005-Current

Suzuki Auto Pasig - (02) 571-6780
Suzuki Auto E. Rodriguez - (02) 726-3747
Suzuki Auto Manila Bay - (02) 556-1579

Photos from

1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!Buy used cars